The Pure Contour 200i Air is a beefed-up version of the Contour 100Di, with a slightly altered design, upgraded speakers, and Apple’s AirPlay wireless music protocol. It’s ditched the internal radio circuitry, though — the 200i Air is for streaming music only. See Group test: what's the best iPod and iPhone speaker dock?
Pure Contour 200i Air: Design, features and setup
The hemispheric body of the Contour 200i Air is covered with black fabric on its front, hiding the stereo speakers that are shoehorned into the device’s small body. See also Pure Contour 100Di review.
A glossy plastic protrusion, marked with the Pure logo, holds the Contour 200i Air’s dock — this will suit any Apple device with a 30-pin connector from the second-generation iPod nano onwards. Pure has a compatibility table with full details — it’s good to see iPads supported alongside smaller iPhones and iPods. Take a look at the Lenco IPD-9000 iPod speaker dock too.
The crest of the Contour 200i Air’s body has only four buttons. There’s volume up and down, a quick mute (that doesn’t adjust the volume — it just cuts out the speakers) and a power switch. This speaker could hardly be simpler &8212; the only way it could have less buttons is if it went ultra-minimalist a la Sonos PLAY:5 or B&W Zeppelin Air.
Around the back there’s a reassuring range of connectors to suit Apple-phobic listeners. The 200i Air has an auxiliary 3.5mm audio jack, coaxial digital audio input (for connecting a TV, perhaps), power input and an Ethernet network connection. If you don’t have Wi-Fi in your house, you can connect the 200i Air via Ethernet to your home network and send it songs from iTunes on your PC.
The remote control that's included with the Contour 200i Air is a high quality device. It's got all the buttons you'd expect — power, volume, repeat, shuffle, source changing, menu, selection and track skipping.
If you do have Wi-Fi, there’s a nifty inclusion on the back of the player. A ‘Wi-Fi Setup’ button works when you’ve got an iPhone or iPad docked that’s also connected to a Wi-Fi network — press the button and you’re then able to use the Contour 200i Air wirelessly, with any app that supports AirPlay on iOS.
Pure Contour 200i Air: Sound quality and performance
The Pure Contour 200i Air doesn’t have any radio circuitry inside, whether it’s DAB+ digital or AM/FM — it’s strictly streaming music only, whether it’s through the dock or over AirPlay. You can also use the Pure Lounge iPhone app to get a wide range of content like music, live radio and on-demand programming.
The speakers inside the 200i Air are great considering the size of the cabinet. 18 Watts per channel, 36 Watts in total, through two 3.5-inch full-range speaker drivers with downward-firing ports, makes for some impressively rich and detailed sound at low and moderate volume levels. You can use the Contour 200i Air to fill a medium-sized room with sound without having to hit full volume, although it does run out of puff in larger spaces.
Maybe it’s the way the speakers are angled inside the 200i Air’s body, but at moderate volume levels music has a spacious and concert-hall-like feel to it — like the aforementioned B&W Zeppelin Air and Sonos system, this is a speaker that sounds bigger and more accomplished than it actually is.
We never experienced any problems with the Pure Contour 200i Air dropping off our Wi-Fi network, or with it cutting out while we played music on it over AirPlay. As far as we’re concerned, its performance in that area was flawless.
We don’t like the fact that you’re not able to adjust the equaliser for the Contour 200i Air, though. We would have appreciated the ability to tone down bass and add a little extra power to treble.
Pure Contour 200i Air: Conclusion
This Pure Contour is a simple but ultimately high quality wireless music system. AirPlay is seamless with a reasonably straightforward setup process, and the included dock and 3.5mm jack are sensible inclusions.
We would have liked to see digital and FM radio, and there’s no real way to adjust the quality of the sound you hear. Despite these foibles, we like the Contour 200i Air.